Pope Liberius

Last updated
Pope Saint

Liberius
Liberio papa1.gif
Papacy began17 May 352 [lower-alpha 1]
Papacy ended24 September 366
Predecessor Julius I
Successor Damasus I
Personal details
Birth nameLiberius
Died(366-09-24)24 September 366
Rome
Sainthood
Feast day27 August (Eastern Orthodox Church)
4 Pi Kogi Enavot (Coptic Christianity)
Venerated in Eastern Christianity

Pope Liberius (310 – 24 September 366) was Pope of the Church in Rome from 17 May 352 until his death on 24 September 366. [1] According to the Catalogus Liberianus , he was consecrated on 22 May as the successor to Pope Julius I. He is not mentioned as a saint in the Roman Martyrology, making him the earliest pontiff not to be venerated as a saint in the Roman Rite. Liberius is mentioned in the Greek Menology, the Eastern equivalent to the martyrologies of the Western Church and a measure of sainthood prior to the institution of the formal Western processes of canonization.

Contents

Life

Liberius is recognized as a saint within the Eastern Orthodox Church. [2] His first recorded act was, after a synod had been held at Rome, to write to Emperor Constantius II, then in quarters at Arles (353–354), asking that a council might be called at Aquileia with reference to the affairs of Athanasius of Alexandria, but his messenger Vincentius of Capua was compelled by the emperor at a conciliabulum held in Arles to subscribe against his will to a condemnation of the orthodox patriarch of Alexandria. [1]

Constantius was sympathetic to the Arians, and when he could not persuade Liberius to his point of view sent the Pope to a prison in Beroea. [2] At the end of an exile of more than two years in Thrace, after which it seems he may have temporarily relented, or been set up to appear to have relented – partially evidenced by three letters, quite possibly forgeries, ascribed to Liberius, [3] the emperor recalled him under extreme pressure from the Roman population who refused to recognize the puppet "pope" Felix. As the Roman See was "officially" occupied by Antipope Felix II, a year passed before Liberius was sent to Rome. It was the emperor's intention that Liberius should govern the Church jointly with Felix, but on the arrival of Liberius, Felix was expelled by the Roman people. Neither Liberius nor Felix took part in the Council of Rimini (359). [1]

After the death of the Emperor Constantius in 361, Liberius annulled the decrees of that assembly but, with the concurrence of bishops Athanasius and Hilary of Poitiers, retained the bishops who had signed and then withdrew their adherence. In 366, Liberius gave a favourable reception to a deputation of the Eastern episcopate, and admitted into his communion the more moderate of the old Arian party. He died on 24 September 366. [1]

Some historians have postulated that Liberius resigned the papacy in 365, in order to make sense of the reign of Antipope Felix II. [4] That view is overwhelmingly outnumbered by the writings of historians and scholars which document Liberius' staunch orthodoxy through the end of his pontificate ended by his death.

Legacy

Pope Pius IX noted in Quartus Supra that Liberius was falsely accused by the Arians and he had refused to condemn Athanasius of Alexandria. [5] In his encyclical Principi Apostolorum Petro, Pope Benedict XV noted that Pope Liberius went fearlessly into exile in defence of the orthodox faith. [6]

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Liberius is a saint whose feast is celebrated on 27 August. [7]

In Coptic Christianity, the Departure of St Liberius the Bishop of Rome is commemorated on 4 Pi Kogi Enavot. [8]

The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome is sometimes referred to as the Liberian Basilica.

See also

Notes

  1. The Liberian Catalogue lists the date of Liberius's consecration as 22 May. Catholic Encyclopedia gives 17 May, noting that the 22nd was not a Sunday. The date could also be 21 June, a Sunday, which differs from 22 May by only one letter in the Roman calendar (XI Kal. Jun/Jul.)

Sources

  1. 1 2 3 4 Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope Liberius"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. 1 2 "St. Liberius the Pope of Rome". oca.org. Orthodox Church in America. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  3. Byfiend, Ted, ed. Darkness Descends, pg. 35
  4. Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Abdication"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  5. Pope Pius IX (6 January 1873). "Quartus Supra (On The Church In Armenia)". Eternal Word Television Network. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  6. Pope Benedict XV (5 October 1920). "Principi Apostolorum Petro, Encyclical Of Pope Benedict XV On St. Ephrem The Syrian To The Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, And Other Ordinaries In Peace And Communion With The Apostolic See". Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  7. "On Monday, August 27, 2012 we celebrate". Online Chapel. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
  8. http://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/13_4.html#1

Related Research Articles

Antipope Felix II Antipope

Antipope Felix, an archdeacon of Rome, was installed as Pope in AD 355 after the Emperor Constantius II banished the reigning Pope, Liberius, for refusing to subscribe to a sentence of condemnation against Saint Athanasius.

Athanasius of Alexandria Patriarch of Alexandria

Athanasius of Alexandria, also called Athanasius the Great, Athanasius the Confessor or, primarily in the Coptic Orthodox Church, Athanasius the Apostolic, was the 20th bishop of Alexandria. His intermittent episcopacy spanned 45 years, of which over 17 encompassed five exiles, when he was replaced on the order of four different Roman emperors. Athanasius was a Christian theologian, a Church Father, the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism, and a noted Egyptian leader of the fourth century.

Pope Damasus I pope

Pope Damasus I was Bishop of Rome, from October 366 to his death in 384. He presided over the Council of Rome of 382 that determined the canon or official list of Sacred Scripture. He spoke out against major heresies in the church and encouraged production of the Vulgate Bible with his support for St. Jerome. He helped reconcile the relations between the Church of Rome and the Church of Antioch, and encouraged the veneration of martyrs.

366 Year

Year 366 (CCCLXVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Gratianus and Dagalaifus. The denomination 366 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

The 360s decade ran from January 1, 360, to December 31, 369.

The 350s decade ran from January 1, 350, to December 31, 359.

355 Year

Year 355 (CCCLV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Arbitio and Maesius. The denomination 355 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

361 Year

Year 361 (CCCLXI) was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Taurus and Florentius. The denomination 361 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

357 Year

Year 357 (CCCLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Constantius and Iulianus. The denomination 357 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Saint Meletius was a Christian bishop of Antioch from 360 until his death in 381. He was opposed by a rival bishop named Paulinus and his episcopate was dominated by the schism, usually called the Meletian schism. As a result, he was exiled from Antioch in 361–362, 365–366 and 371–378. One of his last acts was to preside over the First Council of Constantinople in 381.

Ursicinus, also known as Ursinus, was elected pope in a violently contested election in 366 as a rival to Pope Damasus I. He ruled in Rome for several months in 366–367, was afterwards declared antipope, and died after 381.

Eusebius of Vercelli Bishop and saint

Eusebius of Vercelli was a bishop from Sardinia and is counted a saint. Along with Athanasius, he affirmed the divinity of Jesus against Arianism.

Patriarch Peter II of Alexandria was the 21st Patriarch of Alexandria from 373 to 381 AD. He was a disciple of Saint Athanasius who designated him as his successor before his death in 373.

Semi-Arianism was a position regarding the relationship between God the Father and the Son of God, adopted by some 4th century Christians. Though the doctrine modified the teachings of Arianism, it still rejected the doctrine that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are co-eternal, and of the same substance, or consubstantial, and was therefore considered to be heretical by many contemporary Christians. Semi-Arianism is a name frequently given to the Trinitarian position of the conservative majority of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the 4th century, to distinguish it from strict Arianism.

Lucifer of Cagliari

Lucifer of Cagliari was a bishop of Cagliari in Sardinia known for his passionate opposition to Arianism. He is venerated as a Saint in Sardinia, though his status remains controversial.

Eusebius of Rome, the founder of the church on the Esquiline Hill in Rome that bears his name, is listed in the Roman Martyrology as one of the saints venerated on 14 August.

Eusebius was a high-ranking officer of the Roman Empire, holding the position of praepositus sacri cubiculi for all the rule of Emperor Constantius II (337-361).

Bishops of Rome under Constantine the Great

Constantine the Great's (272–337) relationship with the four Bishops of Rome during his reign is an important component of the history of the Papacy, and more generally the history of the Catholic Church.

The Synod of Milan or Council of Milan may refer to any of several synods which occurred in late Roman Mediolanum or medieval Milan in northern Italy's Po valley:

Dionysius (bishop of Milan) Archbishop of Milan (4th c.)

Dionysius was bishop of Milan from 349 to 355. He is honoured as a Saint in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches and his feast day is on May 25.

References

Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Julius I
Bishop of Rome
Pope

352–366
Succeeded by
Damasus I